Stronger (Sequel to Fragile)

Alex's life is a dream. Her brother Louis, from One Direction, remembers everything. She even gets to go on tour with the boys! But what happens when her past catches up with her again, but this time, back in America? Will she be able to keep everyone safe? Or will she lose everything, and everyone?

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4. Alex's Story

"Alex." Somebody was shaking my shoulder. "Alex!" I opened my eyes and looked at who had had the nerve to wake me up. It was Liam. I was still sitting on Zayn's lap, though. 

"What?" All I wanted to do was sleep, and he had disrupted it.

"You were crying. We figured it'd be best to wake you up." He looked down at his feet apologetically.

"It's okay." I looked up at Zayn, "How long was I out?"

"Almost 12 hours," he said, looking me in the eyes.

"Oh gosh!" I jumped out of his lap, startling him. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean to sleep that long..."

"It's alright, really," he said chuckling as he started to gently pulled me back down. I stood up again, smiled at him, and headed upstairs. 

I knocked on Louis's door. No answer. "Louis," I called softly. Still no reply. I opened the door and peeked in. Louis was lying on his bed, hands behind his head, looking up at the fan spinning on the ceiling.

"Lou?" He turned his head and looked at me. Then he pulled one arm out from behind his head, gestured for me to come, and laid it on the bed. I crawled up next to him and he wrapped his arm around me. "Louis, I'm so sorry..."

"Don't be. It wasn't your fault." He still just stared at the ceiling, a note of sadness in his voice.

"But still. They were your parents."

"They were our parents." I let that sink in. He was right. I was an orphan now. And so was he. No, Lou couldn't be an orphan. He had so much going for him. He was always so bubbly and happy and now he had no parents. Would his personality change? Would he still be the happy-go-lucky kid I remembered? Man I hoped so. 

I laid in his arms for about an hour before I realized Louis was asleep. I sat up gently, making sure not to wake him. I pulled up a chair and sat by his bed. Louis rolled over, facing me. 

Nothing happened for a couple of hours. I just stared at him, wondering what was going on in his head. And mine. 

After he'd been asleep for about 3 hours, he started to show signs of having nightmares. He'd cringe, his face looking extremely sad. "No," he mumbled, burying his face in the pillow. "Leave her alone." He started to toss and turn. What was he dreaming about? Eleanor? Had he told her yet? Had he even talked to her since I got back? "Alex," he cried out, bolting upright as he was pulled out of his dream.

"I'm right here," I said, crawling onto the bed and over to him. He wouldn't look at me, just staring at the wall across the room. "Louis? Look at me," I pleaded. I took his face in my hands when he didn't respond, turning him so he had to look at me. "I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."

I saw my words register in his eyes and he hugged me, crying into my shoulder. This was quite the change of events. Normally I was the one crying and Louis was comforting me, not the other way around. 

We sat there for who knows how long. I just rubbed circles in his back, trying to calm him down. 

"Alex, they're gone." Tears sprang to my eyes. He sounded so broken. Nobody should ever sound that broken, yet here he was.

"I'm so sorry, Louis. I'm so sorry." He'd had his parents his entire life. Sure, he was 21, but he wasn't old enough to have his parents ripped from him with no warning. 

It was still another 20 minutes before he stopped crying and pulled away. He laid down, pulling me with him.

"Tell me."

"What?" I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.

"Tell me about your life." Oh. Why would he want to know this? Especially now? I was going to argue, but I didn't want to offend him or make him even more sad than he was. But he probably would be after my story.

don't know why, but I began speaking. "Well, I lived with you and...our parents, for the first three years of my life. One day I was playing the piano and you were singing our song. The one you remembered. And then a storm started and I ran up to my room. I hate storms. You came after me and comforted me, but a tree fell and there was glass and then I woke up in a hospital. I looked into your room and asked you how you were, but you didn't remember me. I ran back to my room. I was so upset. You were the only person I'd had in my life. I didn't go to school, so I didn't have friends, and you were always there when Mom and Dad fought. But you'd forgotten me." His arm tightened around me protectively. 

"I waited for a couple of days for someone to come get me, but nobody did, so I asked a nurse where my family was and she said they'd already left. I went back to my room, got my clothes on, and snuck out. I spent a while wandering around. I knew I couldn't go back home because if my parents had wanted me, they would have taken me home. I spent a few days out on the streets. I didn't eat or drink anything. I didn't want to have to steal it. A man found me on the side of a street a while later and asked me if I had any family. I told him I didn't and he took me to the local orphanage. 

"I was there for about three months before a couple came to adopt me. They had three other kids, with the youngest being about 12 and the oldest was about 17. They took me home and I was happy, but I noticed they fought just as much as, if not more than, our parents. I asked the other kids and they said it was normal. The divorce was messy, but in the end, the mom got the kids. Nobody really fought for me in the divorce, so the courts let my father have me. We stayed in Doncaster for a while, but the memories were too painful for him. So we moved to London for a year. He decided London wasn't far enough and we moved to America. 

"When he realized he couldn't outrun or move away from his problems, he turned to liquor. He was nice at first, but the more he drank to get away from the pain, the more he started to hit me. He always showed remorse. He'd buy me nice clothes to cover up the bruises and he'd tell me he was sorry, but he'd always beat me again. I didn't know what to do, and I didn't know it wasn't normal, so I never stopped him. He broke out the knife when I was twelve, and I became more afraid than just wary. I still stayed though. 

"I wasn't until he brought out the gun when I was 16 that I snapped. I grabbed my keys and my wallet and ran. I hopped in the car and drove. I drove until I reached California. I got a fake ID saying that I was 18 and I got an apartment and a job. I went to school and tried to live a normal life. After a few months, I got a roommate. I tried to ignore the fact that she brought home a different guy almost every night, but it was weird. Once I actually was 18, I decided that I wanted to find my brother. I kept having the same dream every night. My last memory of you. Once Christmas break rolled around, I decided I'd go as soon as possible. I hopped onto a plane to Doncaster, and then you found me and you know the parts with you.

"When my father knocked on the door that day, he had the expression he always had when he picked me up early from a friend's house. He wanted me to make up an excuse to leave, and I knew if I didn't, one of you boys would get hurt, so I left. 

"He didn't do anything to me for a week. He didn't give me food or water, but he didn't beat me either. He game me food and water on Sunday, and then Monday is when he beat me. Tuesday was twice as bad as Monday, Wednesday was 3x, Thursday was 4x, Friday was 5x, and Saturday was 6x. He finally gave me food again on Sunday, the only day he didn't do anything to me. The pattern continued for a while and I lost track of time. One day I noticed he dropped his phone. I called the police and they came. He took a knife to my throat, I'm honestly surprised he didn't break it out sooner, and lead me up the stairs and out to where the police were. He threatened to kill me if they did anything. One of the police gave me an apologetic look and fired. The bullet went through my side and lodged into his stomach, killing him. I asked what the date was and a man told me it was February of 2013. I ran. I'd been gone for so long. I was disoriented and I had no idea where I was going. I knew I wanted to go to you, but I figured since I'd left without warning over a year ago, you'd forgotten about me like I told you to. 

"I hid in an alley way and I guess I fell asleep. I woke up later and smacked the dumpster on accident, and that's when you found me. And now we're here." I finished my story, shrugging. I sat up and looked at Louis.

My brother nodded, tears in his eyes. "I'm so sorry, Alex."

"It's okay. It's not like you knew about me." I shrugged again. Louis sat up too, pulling me into a hug. 

"I'll never let anything happen to you ever again." I knew it was a tall order, but for some reason, I trusted him. I believed him.

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